Dalhousie, the shiretown of Restigouche County since 1837, is located on the Bay of Chaleur, named by Jacques Cartier in 1534. The first Acadian settlers, Louis and Joseph Arseneault, arrived around 1796. Later, in 1820, a significant wave of immigration brought Scottish settlers from the Isle of Arran to the Bay of Chaleur, where they settled alongside the Micmacs and a few Acadians.
Captain John Hamilton, one of the early settlers, brought many immigrants with him, and the Hamilton Monument, erected in 1851 by Bowman of Glasgow, Scotland, was built on a prominent hillside (now 315 Victoria Street) to express the gratitude of Dalhousie’s Presbyterian community for Hamilton’s leadership and assistance during the town’s early years. The monument was later relocated to its current location between the Dalhousie Centennial Library and Courthouse, and it is designated as a Local Historic Place.
In 1829, during the Highland Clearances in Scotland, Captain Hamilton sailed the brig “Corsair” with settlers from his native island of Arran to the new town of Dalhousie. He became a prominent merchant, exporter of square timber, and a significant benefactor to the Church of Scotland in Dalhousie. Captain Hamilton spent the last ten years of his life in his native land, passing away in Irvine on August 24th, 1848, at the age of 80.
During World War II, the Royal Canadian Navy named their ships after towns and cities. As no two Allied warships could share the same name, the RCN began to run out of names and decided to use names associated with selected communities. HMCS Inch Arran was named after Inch Arran Point in Dalhousie, which was named by John Hamilton, a former native of the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The word “inch” is also of Scottish origin and refers to a small point of land. HMCS Inch Arran remained in service until the end of the war and as late as the 1960s.
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